Today Oscar Niemeyer has gone to redesign heaven, I believe he is upto the job. His large glass and steel cantilevered table Neimeyer, shows all the purity and monolithic lightness of Oscar Niemayer’s creations. Niemeyer, a Brazilian, was the great architect of Brazilia and, along with his contemporaries, the Italian Pier Luigi Nervi, and the Finish American Eero Saarinen, was one of the great poets of reinforced concrete.
One of the things that makes me most fond of this table is the fact that it was designed in 1985 the year that I left school. But like most of Niemeyer’s work it has that sort of basic timeless modernism, that makes you wonder if he designed the egg.
Brad Pitt and Frank Pollaro’s furniture collection was first unveiled a few weeks ago. Not something entirely new for Brad Pitt, as he’s been doodling architecture and furniture designs since he was in college. When Frank Pollaro was installing a desk from his workshop in Brad Pitt’s house in France he saw the actors sketch books and they decided to collaborate.
I keep wondering about the original desk that was being installed chez Pitt, and I wonder if it is a reproduction Rulhmann that Frank Pollaro is so famous for. If so what a massive shame that one of the few people who can afford an original Rulhmann that are available in Paris where they were created , would be importing to France a Frank Pollaro reproduction from the USA. I don’t care how many trees Brad Pitt plants, I find this environmentally twisted on so many levels. So I’m hoping that this desk was in fact one of Pitt’s designs, but then again if that were the case it would probably be a known part of the story.
Frank Pollaro’s studio in New Jersey produces woodwork of the highest level. So it’s is surprising to see these glass and metal pieces coming from his workshop. A lot of the work is based on the idea of the evolution of how a line moves. The tables are limited edition and impressive in their fluid simplicity. They seem easily balanced in their irregularity which is both physically and visually tricky, an exercise which takes a lot of trial and error and rethinking to look casual.
There were some serious concerns over a table in a previous post’s ability to stop things falling through it, so I am now bring you a table which even bullets can’t penetrate, Aviad Gil‘s bullet proof table from the Conflict collection.
Avid Gil had spent a lot of time in the Gaza strip and produced many pieces inspired by the conflict. For this glass table-top engineers shot an AK47 at Volvo bullet proof glass which was then mounted in steel. I think your cups of tea will be safe on this one.
There is a magic effect to the Faint by Patricia Urquiola that can only truly be felt by moving around it, this also makes it next to impossible to be photographed. One end of this glass table has a white finish which then fades to transparent, so it appears to be a solid object that just quietly dematerialises. When you get close up to the zone when the screen printed white fades to halftone dots, then to transparent, there is a moiré effect that vibrates as your eye moves along it, as if the table were made from a sort of shivering techno cloud.
This table is not only a poetic marvel but also a technical masterpiece, as it’s producer, Glas Italia says -”A Monolithic table in transparent extralight glass with tempered top mm. 12 thick, and shaped feet mm. 19 thick. The feet and the top are glued together thanks to a special inclined grinding of the glass. “
It is also available in fully transparent but I think that the extraordinary quality of being invisible is only fully understood when you see it disappear.
One of the smartest new table designs out is from La Corbeille, the trestle has been redesigned by Bénédicte de Lescure so that a table can be created from just one trestle. Now normally if you attempted to pop tabletop up on just one trestle rather than two, the tabletop would just flop off, but by sticking an V that’s like open arms at each end of the trestle, it can support the whole area of the tabletop. It carries a glass tabletop with a diameter of up to 160cm, but if a lighter material like wood is used it could be as wide as 210cm.
Perhaps if this design were jigged a little this trestle could work either way up. Then again that’s probably how this idea started out before it was refined considering it’s load-bearing logic. I imagine that we’ll be seeing variants of this idea over the next few years, since this is such such an economic, convivial and practical solution, I’m sure that sketchbooks are already busy.
This table is inspired by the work of Richard Neutra, a modernist architect whose buildings constantly related to the outdoors. But perhaps there is another style reference going on here, that could lead this to be called the iTable ?
Designed by the architect Vincent Van Duysen for Tribù, its seamless quality is due to the use of injection molded aluminium which is lacquered in black or white, and topped off by a matt glass table-top in the same colour or in black granite. At 220cm long it’s a sizable table and, although it’s an outdoor table, there are not may people in Paris with the outdoor space that it needs. Not to worry though, it’s so finely finished that it’s quite at home indoors.
There is definitely a 1980′s colour block style to the work of Victoria Wilmotte. It has all the feel of the Memphis Milano collection where these trestles would certainly be at home. She works materials with great rigour, throwing up unlikely combinations born out of functionalism and a constructive logic, with a dash of fun and showmanship. The character in her work emerges with the subtly controlled articulations of strong forms, in this cases the knee angle in the legs of the trestle, which make them appear to walk.
The Black legs are aluminium allowing them to carry the weight of a glass table-top, and the snugly fitting T beam is seamless speckled corian. Variants of the trestle are on her website. Victoria is still in her twenties and has already had some quite prestigious commissions. She trained in Paris and London and likes to travel, so I am sure that she has allot more to give.
Since writing this I read that she’s a fan of Ettore Sttossas (surprise, surprise), though her is work more “grown-up”, with a stronger interest materials and construction. I’m curious to see how her work will develop over the next forty years.
Irish advertising agency Boys and Girls hired abgc architects to transform their new place of work that used to be stuffy solicitors offices in an old Georgian building . They removed the finishes and treated the spaces very minimally, painting everything white and creating something hipper, simpler and younger. Then came the design for the agency centre piece, the boardroom table, with the company name in 3D in a valley in the Lego.
This Lego boardroom table plays on many levels, novelty, nostalgia, the big picture and the details, the design approach is best explained on the abgc architects site, they show great images of the design evolution, not a common privelige. As ever with Lego it is the construction process as much as the final object that is valued, so have a look at the film of the table construction which went viral. It’s funny seeing computers pulled out to check where little plastic bricks should go.
Lucas Martin has achieved that wonderful balance between expressiveness, the manufacturing process and the end user. I’d love to see a photo with flowers in the vases. He’s recently qualified and looking for employment. Hopefully for the design world he won’t be waiting long.
This engine comes from a US Army Boeing-Stearman PT-13 and was acquired from the Canadian Museum of Flight, Langley, British Columbia and can now be found at the Decoratum gallery in London for just under £20,000. I’m sure the glass table-top has greatly increased it’s value. After the second World War bits of the engine were kept as souvenirs before they were reassembled as an engine for the museum. This object seems quite sensitive to l’air du temps and perhaps if we knew the next part of this table’s life we would have an idea of the way in which the world is moving.